These Star Maker Machine themes that recall a particular year provide for wonderful exercises in evoking reminiscences that reside in the far reaches of the memory bank.
I was 22 in 1988, and memories, musical and otherwise, had yet to become a blur, but are ordered according to seasons. Everything But The Girl’s Idlewild LP came out in the southern hemisphere’s autumn. I remember first recording on to cassette tape, then buying the album. Other LPs I bought around that time included efforts by Aztec Camera, The Smiths and the Rock Lobsters (the latter a now largely Indie-rock group). I remember listening to the Jesus & Mary Chain’s Darklands album a lot at the time. Hill Street Blues ran on TV, and thirtysomething – the only shows I made a point of watching. I was a vegetarian at the time, and Idlewild evokes the taste of soy mince Bolognese sauce, which tasted awful if reheated. Harvey Wallbangers was the drink of choice; my friends and I would fill up a bottle and sit in the car at the beach, singing loudly to songs by Soft Cell and The Pogues. And I recall having a perennially nagging feeling in my gut, which is briefly re-awakened when hearing Everything But The Girl. Yeah, music is like a time machine.
As for the song, like the album (which I regard as a classic), it is utterly gorgeous. Check it out.